COCKROACHES NEED THEIR FRIENDS?
Yes, we know that cockroaches are not the most pleasant insects in the world, quite the opposite... That's why we work every day to develop technologies that protect our homes and keep them away forever. However, that does not imply that they are not very special animals and in some way, they can be very tender...
Perhaps no one imagined it, but in 2007, a group of scientists discovered that these insects are much more sophisticated than previously thought. And, deepening into their secret life, they discovered that, actually, they are very social insects, able to recognize the members of their own families and who are also very afraid to be alone. Cockroaches form egalitarian societies, with structures based on rules and they are even capable of making collective decisions for the common good. Studies of American and German cockroaches, the two most common species, show how sociable these insects are. They live in common shelters, together with different generations, and end up depending socially on each other.
Fear to loneliness
Like humans, cockroaches that do not spend time with their friends or with other cockroaches of the same species suffer "syndromes" of isolation. Their behaviors are severely affected and later, isolated cockroaches find it much more difficult to join the community in the future. Young cockroaches, therefore, have to be in constant physical contact with others to develop properly. In 2010, another group of researchers announced that they had discovered that cockroaches "talk to each other" about food. Using chemicals called cuticular hydrocarbons, insects "even talk" about the shelter that could become a good home for the day. Therefore, the physical contact of the cockroaches is fundamental for the development of these animals. To do this, they use these chemicals to relate and share their thoughts: they decide the right home, "talk" to decide basic aspects of development such as choosing one food or another, and they recognize each other, something that serves them, among other things, to not mate with their brothers.
They are not so different, are they?